John 16:4b–15: The Treasurer of Jesus
In the previous two passages, Jesus seems to have presented starkly different accounts of what the disciples will experience after his departure. On the one hand, the disciples will grow through their union with Jesus to produce the good fruit of love (John 15:1–17). On the other hand, the disciples will face the hatred of the world coming at them in such ferocity that they will be tempted to fall away from Jesus (John 15:18–16:4a). How will the disciples carry on pursuing Jesus’ fruit of love rather than throwing in the towel? How do we who live today continue on after so many years have passed since Jesus’ departure? What real hope can we as Christians have for success in this dark world?
In John 16:4b–15, Jesus explains that he will equip his disciples. Of course, Jesus has spent the last few years equipping his disciples in person, but after his departure, he will equip them in a different way. Specifically, Jesus will send his Holy Spirit to equip his disciples. In part, this will mean that Jesus will send his Holy Spirit to expose the bankruptcy of the world. Additionally, this will mean that Jesus will send his Holy Spirit to enrich his disciples from Jesus’ own abundant treasury. By leading Jesus’ disciples deeper into the promises of the gospel in Jesus’ word, the Holy Spirit equips us to know Christ.
1. What opportunities do you take advantage of to equip yourself to know, love, and treasure Jesus? What opportunities are available to you that you nevertheless neglect? Why is it so important to take advantage of the opportunities we have to equip ourselves before trouble comes upon us?
2. Why do we need the Holy Spirit to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment? Why is the allure of the world so powerful that we might be tempted to fall away from Jesus if the Spirit did not expose to us the world’s bankruptcy? How do you feel this tension in your own life of feeling drawn to the world, while nevertheless recognizing the foolishness of the world?
3. Who is the Holy Spirit? In the outworking of God’s plan of salvation, what role does the Holy Spirit take in relation to the Father and the Son? If the Spirit works humbly to glorify Jesus (and not himself), how should we relate to the Holy Spirit? How should we worship and adore the Holy Spirit?
4. What are the riches of Jesus? Why does the Father entrust them to Jesus? Why do we need them? In what way does the Holy Spirit communicate those riches to us? How do these questions affect our lives practically as we seek to persevere in this dark world, day after day?